The Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network (EOAN) has just launched a new local food portal for Eastern Ontario. The online portal consists of an e-commerce platform which will connect its member producers and farmers’ markets with consumers and local food enthusiasts.
The tool – prepared in collaboration with Kitchener, Ontario, based Local Line – makes e-commerce accessible to local food producers and farmers’ markets; facilitates the purchase of local food in the community; and engages collective marketing to the benefit of all vendors.
Locals can view the available selection among participating farmers and vendors in various markets, then pre-order - and even pre-pay - before choosing their pickup point.
“Close on the heels of three-way regional funding earlier this year, today’s program launch is a pivotal moment in the EOAN’s history. Our members produce quality local food and beverages but marketing them to a wide audience has always been a challenge,” says EOAN President Michel Villeneuve. “Now, they will benefit from a greatly enhanced product visibility as they embark in a collective marketing strategy. Moreover, Local Line will offer technical support, all this at an affordable price. As for consumers, they will be able to see at a glance – whether on their computer screen or mobile device – the producers, the farmers markets, and what products and beverages they can buy.”
The platform can online on May 1st for browsing and shopping and currently features seven farmers and producers including Feast On Purveyor Springfield Farm Organics in Apple Hill, Ontario. You can also purchase fruit wines from Les Vergers Villeneuve and Blueberry Farm. Other highlights include sourdough bagels, foraged fiddleheads, hydroponic lettuces and the seasons first greenhouse cherry tomatoes!
“The pandemic has forced people to turn to neighbours, to seek products, services, and activities that they enjoy locally. This also applies to their search for food. More than ever, ‘local food’ is becoming paramount in establishing meaningful relationships and sourcing healthy food. With the advent of Local Line and all the visibility it will offer to producers and farmers’ markets, now is a good time to become an EOAN member,” says EOAN Executive Director Tom Manley.
Are you a farmers or producer in Eastern Ontario? Vendor registration is still open. Registration is limited to businesses within The United Counties of Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry, The City of Cornwall, The United Counties of Prescott-Russell, the Territory of Akwesasne (Ontario), and the eastern and southern rural portions of Ottawa-Carleton.